Everton manager Ronald Koeman will return to Southampton this weekend for the first time since leaving the club in the offseason. The somewhat tense nature of his departure will likely lead to a strained atmosphere at St. Mary’s on Sunday.
In his pre-match press conference earlier today, Koeman was uncertain about the welcome he would receive at the Saints.
“I don’t know, I cannot change opinions and feelings of the Southampton fans.
“I hope that they will respect me, we had a great time and after my career I will look back and I had a great time over there.
“I understand different opinions, different reactions, I’m not afraid of that. But it’s time to think about Everton, I made the choice to move and I’m really happy with what I’m doing at Everton. We know it’s a big club with big history.
“What happened in the past is the past. I have a good feeling about what happened at Southampton the last two years – but they have a new manager. That’s football, managers changing, players changing, now it’s looking forward and see what’s the best you can do.”
He is planning to use his experience at the Saints to come away with a positive result.
“I worked two seasons with them.
“They have brought in new players this summer but it is not difficult to analyse Southampton because I know the players, their strengths and weaknesses.
“I hope it all helps because that will make it positive to try and get a result. But everyone knows it’s about the decisions the players make inside the white lines.”
“It will be special because we had two seasons at Southampton but I am now the Everton manager.
“We will do everything to win the game.
“They need a win, we need a win and that makes it really interesting for this Sunday.”